“New Beginnings”: A Case Study in Gay Men’s Changing Perceptions of Quality of Life during the Course of HIV Infection

Abstract

This article reports results of an ethnographic study that sought to understand how a cohort of gay men living with HIV infection evaluated and worked to preserve or improve the quality of their lives. Themes of life story narratives are identified, each with an associated stylistic self-orientation to living with HIV infection. Changes in thematic content of a selected participant’s life story narratives are discussed, demonstrating how events of his daily life are integrated into the narratives. Resultant concurrent shifting of themes and stylistic orientations is linked to his perception of improved quality of life.